Monday, July 30, 2012

Sewing FO's

No recipe review today, the new recipe I was trying out was a pretty major flop so instead I have my two most recent sewing finishes.  The pattern is the Tie Front Tote by Trish Preston at this website: .  The first tote I made was the purple one and I made it as a gift for my mom's birthday.  She liked it very much and tells me that she gets lots of comments about it.  The brown and pink one is one that I made for myself.  It is currently holding my Ravellenic games project and all the different yarns that I need for the colorwork section so it is a very good sized bag.  It also has two interior pockets and a magnetic snap closure.  This is the first tote project that I have made and also the first time I have used any pattern by this designer.  It is presented as a video class in three sections and has some printed directions to go with it.  I did find it to be a good way to learn and she had clear directions. However, I had some technical issues with the video, so on my second time through I wrote out all the directions for the next time I make this bag.  I have some fabric picked out for the main color of my next version but need to remember to take it to the fabric shop to get some coordinating fabric.  I did realize that the fabric I want to use is directional so that may be tricky. 

Here are some recent pictures of Leo, Whiskey and Oscar. Leo recently turned 13 years old!  He still acts like a young kitten a lot of the time.  The cats have taken over Oscar's dog bed in my craft room.  If he tries to get near it when one of them is using it they hiss and growl at him! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Finally a blog of my own

After years of reading blogs I finally have decided that I should start my own.  It was my 34th birthday on Friday and thought I should make a "birthday resolution" to start blogging.  I hope to share some of my crafty endeavors in this space as well as cooking/baking/gardening/book reviews etc.  The name stitchymenagerie came to me today because my mom thought that I should name the blog after our dog Oscar but I couldn't leave out the cats.  I have been referring to our pack of critters as the menagerie recently so I thought that worked.  Also one definition of menagerie is a strange or diverse collection and I thought that was appropriate for all the things I hope to share here.  

I did have a very nice birthday this year, my mom came over for a few days to visit and we did some exploring.  We went to Off Shore Bar and Grill for lunch on Thursday and then to the Dubuque area for a little shopping.  On Friday we went to one of the best places I know Miss Effie's Flowers and Gardens near Donahue Iowa.  It is always great to see Cathy and it was her birthday too!  Miss Effie's is really a unique spot, it is a U-pick flower farm and she also has a Summer Kitchen filled with handmade wonders.  Many of which are made by Cathy herself and some from other gifted people she knows.  The weather was wonderful on Friday so we wandered around enjoying the flowers and the setting before we left for lunch.  I did purchase some of her homemade jam as well as a very cute button bouquet (shown above) for my crafty room.  The tag says it is from Belinda's Buttons but I don't have a website to share.  I didn't get any pictures there but am planning on going back this coming Thursday for Blooms, Tunes and Brews so hopefully I remember the camera then! 

After leaving Miss Effie's we went to Clarence for lunch at Mill Creek Cafe.  We had never been there before but it was wonderful!  The food was delicious and inexpensive and the Mud Pie we split for dessert was so good I think we both regretted not having our own slice.  After lunch Mom headed home and I went home as well, and ended the day by having a few drinks with a couple of neighbors and then my husband made very tasty pork chops on the grill for supper.  I did manage to start a new knitting project for the Ravellenic Games (previously known as the Knitting Olympics) while watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on TV.  I cast on for a Nederland Vest from Knitscene Fall 2008.  The yarn I am using is Cascade 220.  Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the end of the closing ceremonies on August 12th. 

I will be back soon with a recipe review and some sewing progress.